When starting plants from seed, it’s a good idea to experiment with different sorts of pots and trays.

I like the fact that gardening is a leisure-time activity that doesn’t require buying a lot of stuff. Of course my basement, barn and garden shed tell quite a different story, but most of it isn’t anything I really NEED to be a successful gardener.

That said, I’ve found there are a few gardening activities in which gear does make a difference. One of those is seedstarting. It’s true that even a kindergartener can get a marigold seed to germinate in a recycled yogurt cup. But if I’m starting peppers, petunias or parsley from seed, or am trying to fill my cutting garden with the latest and greatest annuals, I want to use the best gear for the job.

In the lab at Gardener’s Supply, we’re currently testing a dozen or more different types of seedstarting pots, trays and specialized propagators. This year’s tests are still underway, but every year, try as we might, we can never get anything to germinate seeds faster and more dependably than the APS system.

APS is an acronym that stands for Accelerated Propagation System. Though it’s a mouthful, the name has proven to be an accurate one. The APS creates an ideal environment for germinating seeds. When you plant seeds in the growing cells, they seem to be overcome with an eagerness to sprout and flourish.

In this year’s tests we’re seeing good results from a couple of other systems, including the Deep-Root Seedstating System, but the APS is still winning, hands down. This doesn’t surprise us, as the APS has garnered more customer love letters than any other product we’ve ever sold (24 years running!). What does surprise us is how difficult it’s been to replicate its success.

If you’re an avid seed starter and would like to share your own results with the APS or any other seedstarting system, please leave us a comment on this post. Thanks!

-Kathy LaLiberte, Director of Gardening